Play With Me on the Park Piano

If you’ve never sung along with my hit (ha ha) song, “Joaquin Miller (Went Walkin’),” you can now saunter up to the piano at the place where it belongs, and hum a few bars yourself. Here’s an article by Linda Brown from Write Angles, the California Writers Club newsletter. (I included some other newsy bits because this is my favorite park and Oakland is awesome!)
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Songwriters Celebrate Joaquin Miller

-Linda Brown

Singers are writers, too, and the CWC-BB is blessed to have writers who also write songs, entertain, and inspire a love of history through music. Three members recently donated music to CWC for display at the Ranger Station in Joaquin Miller Park. Thank you, Kristen Caven, Karen Arlen, and David Simmons! The music was labeled as a donation from the songwriters and the CWC.

Kristen wrote Joaquin Miller Went Walkin’, an anthem for the Park that has an accompanying workbook for children. In 2010, she sang the song and played the guitar for the five-year gathering of the FoJMP. She has also performed this song at the July CWC picnic in Joaquin Miller Park. You can check out the music and booklet from the Oakland Library or purchase it from

Karen Arlen co-authors and publishes books and CDs on California history and performs, much like CWC’s founding members. She donated her songbook, Days of Gold, which includes Gold Rush songs.

Davie Simmons donated a song of earlier times that captures the spirit of Joaquin Miller Park. “The Green Shady Places” is from his album Culloden Field. Listen and watch at

Trailhead Documentary Premieres
Trailhead: Discovering Oakland’s Gateway to the Redwoods gets its world premiere at the Chabot Space & Science Center on Wednesday, October 7 (5:30–10:00pm). This documentary tells the story of Oakland’s largest wildland trail system that connects neighborhoods to redwood forests and over five hundred miles of trails that span the entire East Bay.

In the mid-1800s to early 1900s, writers and artists met for outdoor salons at “The Hights,” Miller’s name for his artistic retreat in the Hills. One-act plays were called High Jinks and comedy skits, Low Jinks. See more at

The Friends of Joaquin Miller Park (FoJMP), of which the CWC is a member, donated funds to tune the piano in the Ranger Station earlier this year.
Of course, tell everyone to learn more about these and other published members on and clicking on the Our Members tab.

What do you think?